Wednesday, December 21, 2005
AP: Senate poised for budget showdown - Dec. 21
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 29 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans expressed optimism as legislation to curb the budget deficit by shaving benefit programs will move toward a crucial vote.
Vice President, right with his wife Lynne, rushed home from the Middle East to be on hand to cast a potential tie-breaking vote on the centerpiece of the GOP's budget agenda a $39.7 billion bill cutting federal benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid for the first time in eight years.
But with lawmakers increasingly eager to adjourn for the holidays, another bill funding theand rushing new relief to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast faced a less certain future Wednesday because of a plan to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Its passage was not assured as Democrats dug in for a filibuster and Republicans scratched for the 60 votes needed to prevail.
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